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tv   Public Affairs  CSPAN  November 11, 2012 2:00am-6:00am EST

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politicians who see compromise as a dirty word. not when so many of your families are still struggling. instead, you want cooperation. you want action. that's what i plan to deliver in my second term, and i expect to find leaders from both parties willing to join me. thanks, and have a great weekend. >> this week, i called for action by both parties on a plan to help our economy grow and create jobs, which is critical to solving our debt. it's also critical to averting the so-called fiscal cliff, a combination of automatic spending cuts and tax rate increases that's just weeks away from taking effect. some have said that despite the risks, we should let our nation's economy go off part of the fiscal cliff in january, by allowing the top two rates to rise. they believe that doing that will generate more revenue for the federal government. but here's the problem with that. raising those rates on january 1 would, according to the
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independent firm ernst & young, destroy 700,000 american jobs. that's because many of those hit by this tax increase are small business owners -- the very people who are the key to job creation in america. i used to be one of them. this week, i offered congratulations to president obama -- along with an alternative to sending our economy over any part of the fiscal cliff. instead of raising tax rates on the american people and accepting the damage it will do to our economy, let's start to actually solve the problem. let's focus on tax reform that closes special interest loopholes and lowers tax rates. instead of accepting arbitrary cuts that will endanger our national defense, let's get serious about shoring up the entitlement programs that are the primary drivers of our country's massive, growing debt. 2013 should be the year to begin to solve our debt through tax reform and entitlement reform. together, we should avert the fiscal cliff in a manner that ensures that 2013 finally is that year. shoring up entitlements and reforming the tax code -- closing special interest loopholes and deductions, and moving to a fairer, cleaner, and simpler system -- will bring jobs home and result in a
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stronger, healthier economy. a stronger economy means more revenue -- which is exactly what the president is seeking. and without a strong economy, we'll never be able to balance the budget and erase our country's debt. this framework can lead to common ground. the president and i had a brief conversation this week and i'm hopeful that we can continue those talks and forge an agreement that can pass both chambers of congress. because if there was a mandate in this election, it was a mandate to work together to do what's in the best interest of our country. and right now what's best is getting our economy moving again and keeping it moving, so we can begin to restore our children's future. it's a great honor to serve as speaker of the house. i'm constantly inspired by the courage and grace of the american people, especially the 22.5 million veterans who we pause to honor this weekend. to them and their families, we
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say thank you, god bless you, god bless this great nation that you've served so valiantly. >> a discussion on the polling during the 2012 campaign. then a form on some of the security challenges until the middle east. a look at the impact of the presidential election on view as relations in the middle east. >> these are the casualties of the spirit, the troubled in mind. some patience require special therapy, hypnosis is often effective. >> now, you are a deep sleep. we are going back. we're going back, now. >> one of the most important procedures is group
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psychotherapy. the patient learns to understand something of the basic causes of his distress. >> if we can get some illustrations of how one personal safety would stem from childhood safety. i was ashamed -- to tell them what i had done. i kept it to myself. >> this weekend, the 1946 open " let there be light." the world war ii documentary. what's this rarely seen and once censored work sunday at 4:00 eastern. >> my favorite program is "book tv." i also like the coverage of the book fares on but tv. occasionally they will cover lectures from historians,
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universities, or sometimes book fairs. i like the diversity of the coverage because i learned about topics that a baby would not encounter on my normal browsing the internet. i learned things -- the stories of the new south. that is not something that would necessarily pop up on some of the search as i normally do. we really learned a lot about the characteristics of a new south. i also get introduced to books that maybe my friends and colleagues aren't talking about. >>c-span, created by america's cable companies enter 1979. brought to you by your cable provider.
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>> "the national journal" on wednesday, charlie cook moderated a panel on the surveys done prior to and after election day. the two feature posters are margie omaro and alex bratty. >> i spew hot air for a living so the air-conditioning rigidify way too much for the engines and aspired to have a helicopter wednesday. if i look like, you know what, then you are right. your eyes are not deceiving you. i got two and a half hours of sleep.
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we were on the decision desk at nbc, which is a staffing place where it is it of 50 people in a room and two thirds of them are statisticians. there are looking like it. eight models on each race. each of the 50 states, presidential, each senate and governor race and looking at -- it is like nonsense meets politics. we are the non quantitative people because we watch the races year in and year out. a lot of fun for somebody who's math sats quarter was significantly lower than my verbal. it is really cool for me to be in that room. we are very pleased -- we had a good evening. has been a lot of fun to do that with nbc.
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if my eye looks weird, i developed a sty in my right eye lit two days ago. i apologize for all of that. let's talk about what happened. this is the first time i have said anything. this is going to be somewhat disjointed. on the presidential -- this thing that kind of played out a lot like we thought. my process of watching the evolution of what mitt romney needed to do was to start off with the 22 states that mccain won with 180 electoral votes. then you say, ok. he is going to win indiana. that gets it to 191. probably the next easiest they will be north carolina. what will he have to do after that to get up to 270? we still have two states out,
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florida and virginia, which were going to be my next two states he would need to win. they are still undecided at this point. with obama slightly ahead in both of them. basically it looks like it stops. he would have needed to do florida and virginia and then he would need to get into colorado, iowa, new hampshire. even winning all of that he would be three short of 270. it was pretty clear going into election day that a whole lot had to happen right for romney to get over to 70. it did not happen. it seemed to peter out either after north carolina in that sequence or maybe even florida or virginia wants all the votes are counted, maybe one or theoretically both of them fall to him, but probably not. that is where it was.
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there was one. back around -- looking at the sequencing of it. you go back to before the first debate. mitt romney was dead in the water and not moving. he was not far behind the for the first debate. it looks like a really hard it 3-5 points. i had a chance to look that the focus groups, i got the distinct impression that a lot of the undecideds that were out there, they were enormously disillusioned and disappointed in president obama. they clearly did not want to vote for him. they did not seem to be as curious -- some of them did not
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seem to be openly considering mitt romney. they did not want to vote for one guy, but they were not paying that much attention. we did not get the impression they were paying attention. the first debate, obviously, mitt romney did fabulously well. the president did not show up. i love jay leno's line that the only people who thought the president won the first debate or the nfl replacement raffs. that seemed to nail it. he got a nice surge off of that. mitt romney jumped up. mitt romney pulled ahead. it looked like he dropped a point or two. after all the debates were done, romney seemed to have a list of
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another. or so. at that point, that is what we started seeing all kinds of really conflicting data. then he started seeing tapering off. it was tapering off at least a week before hurricane sandy. a lot of people are saying, sandy killed him. i think that was more icing on the cake. he was already dropping before the hurricane came along. he did engage a lot of voters who were not paying attention to him that the debate was the first positive experience they have had considering mitt romney. a really put the brakes enclave of not enough. i will talk about that more and a couple of minutes. i think we felt good about how we looked at it. one of the things i denture the senate.
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there were 10 tossup races. if you come down to -- north dakota. if they both go democratic, democratic would have won nine out of the 10 tossup races. if they go the spread democrats or have 17-10. we talked abut it a little bit before the election -- the last group of tossup races. they never break and the marrow. they tend to break two there is one way and one-third with the other. whatever the guest of wind is. maybe it was sandy related and maybe not, but it was a positive gust of wind for the president. what ever happened, you saw them
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break either seven out of 10 or 9 out of 10 in favor of republicans. it is a pattern that held up enormously. i think they're a team had a far better night than anybody ever thought of that. when that took the job i thought he was crazy doofu-- seven demos and only two -- before olympia snowe retired and before tom aiken became a biology instructor. i guess before -- anyway, it is too painful for too many people.
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that really looked -- they deserve an enormous amount of credit. they hung in there and really hit the power ball at the end it. conversely, i feel kind of bad for senator corn and, the folks. i think back-to-back, what an enormously talented group of people. they had some of the worst luck. luck is a broad term that includes the party nominee to should have never been nominated by any party ever. there is not a not -- there is not a lot of the national committee can do. would you do interfere in primaries, it is washington dictating and party bosses dictating. you get what you get. look what happens. they heard not just themselves, but they heard the entire party's brand.
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and enormously talented group of people that did not deserve what they got here. that was the outcome. it looks like democrats probably will pick up a seat. then you get to the house. the house seesawed a little bit. well within the frame of what we were expecting, somewhere between a wash and democrats picked up 10 seats. we had a broad think of anywhere from republicans picking up a seed or two or democrats picking up eight. right now we are looking like it is in the five-eight seats to gain for democrats. i think the gust of wind at the end helped them, too. is he saw a little bit in the evening. early on it looked like republicans were doing very well. there was one. it looks like republicans were
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going to pick up some seats. then you started seeing -- who would have thought that? alan west losing. it went on, it sort of was kicking back over a little bit towards democrats. 5-8 over all. let's get into the themes of its. i think if you're going to step back and think about, what have we learned from last night? i think there are a couple of things. it's really exposed some of the problems of the republican party is going to have to confront. they will go through their seven stages of dying. there will be denial and anger. there romney was not conservative enough sense of like that. it will be interesting to see how long it takes republicans to cycle through that and get to
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a constructive place where they said, ok, this party does need to be changed. the thing about it is, if the republican party were a business, you would say they had a flood economic model or a flawed business model for the future. you cannot get the kind of numbers that are getting among non-white voters and expect to win elections in the future. you cannot do that. you cannot look at where voters are under 40 years of age and knowing that is the future and that's connecting basically -- their messaging seems to be centered around older, white males. that is not where the country -- it is not where it is right now, but it really is now our the country will be 20 years from now.
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they have to go back to the drawing boards. i will tell you that in a minute. how did this manifest itself? look at scott brown. as moderate a guy -- in the previous panel they were talking about congress is to do to work together. where you need moderate republicans. you need moderate democrats. on the republican side, scott brown, who probably would have been one of these people that crossed party lines, he loses. linda lingle in hawaii. she would have been an asset for the kind of congress that pulls things together. she was a terrific candidate in ran a great campaign. running as a republican in a democratic state, the
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president's home state this particular year just rang up no sale. heather wilson in new mexico is another one like that. moderate republicans running in blue states all lost. look at their counterparts. democratic moderates running in red states. he did manage to win in indiana in a non-democratic wave year. it was probably impossible in 2010. but in a relatively level playing field environment, it was still something. the fact that democrats were still in the hunt in north dakota -- i have not looked to see what the president's number was there. it was pretty impressive. john tester, the other one that is still up in the air, fairly
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moderate. it looks like he may survive. tim kaine won in virginia. the republicans, their brand is hurting them -- their candidates -- in certain kinds of places, even the kind of candidates that should have chances to win in traditionally republican states. think about how far to the right mitt romney had to go to nail down that nomination. people say, what impact did the superpacs have? had adelson not kick in the money for newt gingrich, he would have been out of the race
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a long time ago. if not for foster freeze, rick santorum would have been out of there. romney had to move to the right to nail down the nomination. it made it more difficult, more awkward for him to go back toward the center to win a general election. if you are going to say two issues -- one of them might not be fair. the automobile bailout, i do not know how much of that was political and conservatives not liking government interference and how much of it was a harvard business school, harvard law school thinking that that would have been a better long-term route for the auto companies that may not have been political, that you them go bankrupt. the other thing is the politicization. you cannot tell me that the mitt romney from 3 or four years ago would have had any intention to go as strident as you did on immigration and how badly that hurt him when you look at how he performed. one percentage point more of the vote this time than in 2008
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was made up of -- he ended up getting 71.27. you look at that and say, wow. that was an enormous mistake. the second thing that seems to me is that campaigns matter. i hate doing this the morning after the election.
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there are some people who worked their hearts out, worked hard for romney-ryan did a terrific job. i think the world of neil.
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i have to second guess some of the decision makers in the campaign. they made some enormous strategic mistakes the undercut romney's ability to compete and take advantage of this kind of economy. the decision not to define romney early on when he was clearly a clean slate to out- spend, out-organize a republican field. my wife is trying to get me to stop using the word "wacko." he got them out of the way, but
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he did it without ever building his own plan about who he was. when you go back to april 10, they basically knew he was a republican presidential candidate. they knew he was a rich, successful businessman. other than that, they knew next to nothing about mitt romney. one of the first things i learned in politics along time ago was the importance to define your candidate before
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the opponent has a chance to define them. you want to go in with the biographical ads, testimonials ads. it is not that it is a popularity contest, but you want to go in with something that people would be proud to have in elected office. you just want those warm and fuzzy feelings. it provides a teflon coating to protect your candidate from the slime that is going to come. you need that. they were running a lot of ads in may and june. they wanted to talk about the economy and a referendum on president obama. romney had to reach a threshold
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level, a comfort place with voters. they simply did not do that. they shoved it off until the convention and you did not happen there. the ball simply never moved forward until he got up in the first debate in hit a grand slam. he came through in a way that the campaign had not at that point. second and third performances -- even though people say president obama won -- i know about debate scoring. people do it like a high-school debate or boxing or olympic diving and they want to do points. when i look at debates i think, do people looked at one or both candidates differently after the debase them before?
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you had people who had just seen this caricature of romney that came from the obama campaign. first of all, from the republican primaries where he turned himself into a pretzel, a moderately conservative guy. i met him when he was running for senate against senator kennedy in 1994. he was a relatively non- ideological guy. i would have put him on the 35- 40 yard line on the right side. he had to head into the red zone and go to the 2 yard line. ron paul was the only one. that was not who he was. it was not convincing. it did leave some bad impressions with people. many had waited too long to hustle back over to the middle.
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he started sliding a little toward the end and then sandy hit. the failure to define him in a positive way. outsourcing, bain capital, cayman islands. they beat him over the head with it. when he got the left after the first debate, he probably went up in all 50 states, but he moved up slower in those 6 or 8 states where the obama ads had beaten his brains out. at the end of the day, that is what made the difference. the cold numbers the republicans are going to have to look at and think about is the demographics. who voted? the country is changing and they have got to change.
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we will see as they progress through the denial and all of these other things until they get to a point and step forward. if i were the republican party, reince priebus is a terrific operative. he is an effective national cheer. to be honest, i think the republican party -- there is a time when parties need a haley barbour. they need some large-statured person, someone who has the stature who can move the party
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along on a sustainable immigration policy for the party. how to hit the pitch right on social, cultural issues, to not turn their backs on cultural and social conservatives and not alienate some many voters. people say, i am a conservative on economic issues, but -- you know what the rest of the
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sentence is. right now, it is the republican problems that are most apparent this morning after the election. with little sleep and with my observations were watching this last night. i was supposed to introduce you guys straight out. i am supposed to be in the middle. they have a labyrinth plan for how all of this is supposed to work and i get up here and screw it all up. let me introduce. alex bratty and margie omera are terrific pollsters. i have gotten to know them over the last few years.
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alex bratty works with public opinion strategies, which is a large and extremely high quality, the biggest of the republican polling firms. she is a partner there. they do the enormous work. i enjoyed meeting and working with alex. not working with. i just get to watch her and watch the streamed video for some of the work that they do for the walmart moms. margie omero is a boutique. she she is a high end boutique. both of them do great, great work. we have done a couple of panels together and it has been a lot of fun. i am going to sit down.
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am i interviewing? >> you are our fearless leader, charlie. >> sarcasm. i am asking the questions. margie, where were you last night? [laughter] >> i was with my husband. my firm and his firm -- he has a democratic media consulting firm. we had a joint election night party. >> you are watching the early things coming in. what were your impressions? what were your first, second,
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and third impressions some of disappointment and unique pleasures? >> my unique pleasure was to see so many women get elected to office. obviously, my unique pleasure was seen barack obama get reelected as a democrat. seeing so many women be elected was houston gratifying. one of the things that was really important that i saw -- seeing so many women be elected was hugely gratifying. one of the things i saw that was really important was that the gender gap means that for the first time since 1996, women determined the window. obama won with women, lost with men, and won the election. there were failings with women's issues and women voters. >> what were things, curiosity
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things that tickled you during the evening? or surprises. >> i was surprised that as many senate races when democratic as did. i was surprised to see that. not completely shocked, but i was surprised to see so many democrats win. that was a nice surprise. >> okay, alex. where were you? >> we were doing an election night poll. we interviewed 6000 voters and we did a poll among walmart
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moms. i was watching the returns come in and do with the polling. obviously, not a wonderful night for republicans to say the least. margie made a good point about the gender gap. you also talked about this earlier. what is really behind that and what republicans do need to look at is the vote among whites versus latino and african americans. even though president obama won women by double digits, he did
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not win white women. mitt romney won white women by 14 points. what is underneath that is the racial, ethnic split. that was something you noted. marital status was in there, too. if the electorate had looked like it did in 2004 where there were 77% of voters that were white, mitt romney would have won last night. like voters went down to 72%. we are living in a different world where you can win white voters.
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mitt romney won white tears by 20 points. >> let's say 5:30 p.m. or 6:30 p.m., what was the first or second thing you saw or heard that told you this might not be such a good night? >> florida. how it has not been called yet. it was so tight and obama was a little bit ahead and he continued to be a half. >> there was no route to his 70 without florida. but florida was not a good sign. >> when we look at how swing voters and how good faith, when you look at the exit poll data, independents voted for romney. usually independents tipped the scale, but that did not happen. >> one of the things that was one on in the blogosphere was the role of independents. can either one of you address what made one pulled different from another in terms of how they ask the question and that sort of thing? >> certainly. here it is a self-described.
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when we do the polling, we are asking people how you identify. partisan identification does jump around. independents, as you get closer to the election, there are few people are truly independent. they are leaning one way or the other. they start profiling leading democrats or leaning republican. we said, are they leaning
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republican or democrat or are they truly down the middle? >> if someone says they are independent and you ask if they are leaning republican, do you put them in the republican column? >> when you are doing an internal poll for your client or candidate versus a media poll -- >> i might leave all of the
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independents in a different group. >> you are trying to figure out all the different routes and what is the narrative and what might be happening behind the surface. national outlets are releasing a poll to get public attention quickly. >> you are saying there is no conspiracy. >> there is no conspiracy. >> is there a conspiracy? >> not that i am aware of. if there is, we are not in it. >> there really is not a conspiracy out there. >> it is a variance. polling is self and what you are looking at is a variance. you have the statistical confidence to take that into account. polling itself and looking at the navigators and comparing apples to one another, there will be variance. sometimes --
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>> i want to switch over and talk about the walmart moms. what do you think he left out or disagreed with or you thought needed more amplification? >> i thought everything you said was fantastic, charlie. i would say one of the things -- you are talking about demographics and they are right with you on all of that. one of the things we saw with our walmart moms survey and it was not even in the national exit polls. it was the role of the entitlement debate and the
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social security and medicare. there was a moment where it seems like that was going to be a heavy portion of our campaign dialogue. it ended up not being important, at least not to voters. i think that is something that is important for us to think about going forward in the campaign and how important that is and what people can follow and try that sort of nuanced debate. >> i would second margie on that. i will elaborate that i think sandy froze things in place for mitt romney. he was starting to taper a little bit. but before that, people were saying he was not the caricature. in the kind of killed that. it was frozen in place for him. they lost a few days on that momentum. >> one of the things that comes to mind is, we talk so much about the battleground states. but ultimately the national conversation dominates. if one door closes for mitt romney, there are not other
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doors equally available. the reason a door closed in other states is the reason other doors are not going to be opened. >> most of the people in this room are inside the beltway for a mile and half outside the beltway, but close enough. i got to know both of you when you started to do the walmart moms focus groups. it was a group of people that
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was a large segment of the electorate that do not have pacs and well-connected lobbyists and do not have much of a voice. it is a big group of people. with them in mind -- i do not know if you released your survey from last night. why don't those of you take off on that? would you do learn from your research? what did you see last night about this key voting group? >> walmart moms were seen as a swing voting group in 2008. they voted for obama in 2008. we joined with margie and started doing bipartisan work. we tracked these walmart moms over time.
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we have found that they are 14% to 17% of the electorate. they are middle of the road in terms of ideology. ultimately, they break republican. we had democrats in 2008 and republican in 2010. where are they going to land in 2012? we talk to these moms and heard from them. they were traveling the whole time. it was this balancing act. we have president obama. i know him. he is relatable.
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he seems like he understands me. he does not seem to have delivered on the economy. he inherited a lot, but it is not there for me. i am hurting. i do not know. on the other hand, we have we have mitt romney who has this great resume. i just feel like i can connect to him. you could see that. they were visibly grappling with his decision. even up until last night when we get our election night poll, they were just as split as the overall electorate. here is a swing voter group that tips the scales one way or another. they did not really swing. they split down the middle,
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almost. 50% obama and 48% romney, which mirrors the election. it is interesting to see that dilemma and the split down the middle go all the way to last night. >> i agree with a lot of what alex said. another key finding with these moms is how personally they are feeling the effects of the economy. the personal lands to which they view politics. we saw this in the focus group where we would hear story after story of health care struggles and making sure they can afford a specialist for their kids to see, husbands out of work, women who were pregnant and laid off and trying to figure out how they were going to get a job. moving in with parents. it did not matter where in the
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socio-economic spectrum they came from. they still have those concerns. it was not a socio-economic thing necessarily. it was the pressure of running a household and being a mom. that really added to it. some mothers said, i am struggling to fund a 529 for my kids' education. they struggled with getting the household in order and running. that colors how they see the political debate. we also saw it in our polling. in 2011, we did a national survey with these moms. 2 to 1 said, i am more concerned about my household finances than the national economy. that is a stark difference. it is really important in how women saw those of the candidates and what they thought the candidates were
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speaking to them and how their daily life was going to be affected. >> what we used to call working-class families used to be a bedrock part of the democratic coalition. not so much anymore. what has happened? >> i think there are a variety of things. there are social-cultural components of this. >> the democratic party has
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moved upscale? >> i would not phrase it that way. >> how would you phrase it? >> i would not say the democratic party has moved upscale. that is a charge that is levied against the democratic party. a lot of voters have a concern that somebody is getting a better deal that may. they get a short-cut and i do not. people are saying, they are getting a better deal than me. when you combine that with the procession of differences on moral issues and religious issues and social issues, adds to that and magnifies that. the democratic party is not internally saying let's go upscale. that is not a goal. it is the appearance of that that becomes a caricature. >> my colleague combed through lots of retail restaurants to
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see which one epitomizes each party. the thing about it is there has been, over the last 40 or 50 years, a dislodgement between certain kinds of voters in the democratic party. >> it is not like either party has chosen to take that track and go that way. these perceptions happen or these charges are levied and you are dealing with the reality of that and the reality of that. >> is there a perception that the democratic party is more starbucks than the local diner? >> i did not think that is the way the democratic party has chosen to go.
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>> there was a great pew poll from late august. they were overwhelmingly democratic. so i would say in terms of who democrats are fighting for and the perception of food democrats are fighting for, the perception is not that the democrats are fighting for shoppers at the exclusion of diner patrons. i would argue that the reverse is true. they are more likely to say mitt romney's policies benefit the rich. >> do they say obama relates
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more to me, but i wonder whether he is competent in his effectiveness? did you see that in the data? >> there was something interesting in the exit polls. there were four attributes. it was an advantage that obama had over the fourth one. it was leadership or a fighter. i will get it i have it somewhere. >> it was obama performing better on cares about someone like me.
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that is what we have seen through this whole cycle. we certainly saw it with our walmart moms. that was something we heard from them. i do not feel like i can connect with mitt romney. does he really understand what i am going through every day? when you push them and ask, what about barack obama? does he? they will say, well, given the
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choice, he understands me better. i do not know if it is necessarily, he had this all nailed down. it is just the choices. >> shares your values strongly, cares about people like me, has vision for the future. of the people who said cares about me was their number one issue, 81% voted for obama. if you set any of the others were your number one trade, you voted for romney. number 1 trait, you voted for romney. the 47% reinforce the perception that he does not care about me.
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>> i want to go to questions and answers in a second. let's move forward and let say you are in a meeting with democratic leaders. you probably should not use the term knuckleheads. this country is expecting things to start happening in 2013, unlike 2009, 2010, 2011. what do you tell how the
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republican leaders to connect with with these walmart moms? what are they looking for that is actionable and relatable for republican leaders as they go into the fiscal cliff and go into next year and the grand bargain, whatever?
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>> in a physical and a violent way. but consider this attitude acceptable -- unacceptable means to educate them -- an accaptable means to educate them. i think this is reflected in the public amenities. -- committees. to make checkpoints where police are absent in the first 18 days -- it is all very clear.
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it is not about the institutional culture. my question, after decades of a militarizing and securitized in the popular mind of the society, to make it ready, to accept this kind of of effectiveness, and what strategies may be developed to address the public awareness and consciousness? not just in institutions -- i think it is more important that reform in such sectors. >> your question is suggesting that the public is largely -- the largely viewed this grant --
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the securitization of the police and intelligence forces as acceptable? >> society? securitized. -- society gets securitized. around us, ready to attack the institutions -- the military is a very -- the institutional violations would meet with the sculptor, which starts from that, not from the houses and families, which are violent to their kids, and they justify it.
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especially in rural areas -- they are justifying the force attitude to subdue citizens as educational -- a way to teach people how they should behave. >> let me take a crack at a difficult question. i think your level of generalization may be a little too wide, but having said that, i definitely think in terms of egypt, a place to live and, the authoritarian regina was especially effective for some time. this issue of outside support -- outside instability was a mechanism to sustain its role. there were many parts of society that are still susceptible to that kind of appeal, particularly in conditions of growing insecurity. i you addressed this as a matter of public education -- how you
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address this is a matter of public education. to diffuse the different view of these issues for public schools, and if there is the political will to do that, that is a different question. i thought you're getting to the different issue of human rights education in the security apparatus themselves, giving them a different perspective on their role. we have a double challenge here, and that raises the issue that we talked about, in terms of political will. you may want to elaborate on this point in terms of egypt. >> i would just add and say, the way you characterized the securitization of a lot of aspects of egyptian social like -- i will thank you for mentioning that. it is part institutional. it was not long time ago when a
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security was basically involved in almost every aspect of public and a lot of private institutions. you have to get a promotion at university -- you had to get some kind of approval, you had to get some kind of approval from an office inside the ministry of interior. also, i thank you for bringing a lot of attention to the fact that a lot of this is talking about changing the securities sector to a high level policy discussion, but there has been some legwork that has started, that has taken off that is led by egyptian society organizations.
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it features the involvement of a professor from university of california san diego. it is working with local communities to rethink and refrain the perceptions and understandings of neighborhoods , and personal security. there are a lot of approaches to changing perceptions and changing the securities sector. that is an addition to the high- level policy stuff that we discussed. >> thank you. you have anything -- ok. let's take this as our final question. i have one more, very last question to pose to our panel. >> good morning.
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i am an independent researcher and consultant on issues mainly around the police and conflict. my question is aimed primarily at a bob. i will tweet it for egypt and tunisia. a paper highlighted the problems and challenges in libya in conducting operations with a light footprint. it is not kosovo or iraq model where we had tens of thousands of people on the ground. my question and for bob is, what are our considerations with engagement or post-conflict ssr? what can we do during the conflict to set the stage for post-conflict to get on the ground, whether it is -- whether it is with a light footprint or have your park -- have your footprint? with egypt and tunisia, you're looking at the east european model, how do you modify that
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with the fact that there are not thousands of europeans or americans on the ground to help drive this forward? what are the possibilities of success without ever-present motivation to do so? >> this is an interesting question. thank you very much. it is bad when we have friends come to these things, because they think of ways to embarrass you. [applause] i was thinking about the mention of a south africa as a model. i was doing so ever can affairs at the end of the transition their when mandel became president, and i helped them to offer solutions -- the south african government froze. they could not deal with all the advice. they could not make judgments about which was the best. instead, they ended up not doing
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anything. that is maybe the problem here. it is very hard to see -- in a situation like libya -- i will give you an example -- we are in libya with a meeting with the person who is a charge of libyan up pretty bad -- procurement, and i said to him, brigadier- general, what do you need? he said i needed somebody who understands personal databases. i have 300 house people on the roles of this ministry, and i have no idea who these people are. the old regime to put tens of thousands of people, our roles because they wanted people -- on our rolls because they wanted people to get a paycheck. he had a 30,000 or 40,000 names. maybe 15 of those show up for work -- 15,000. then there are the new 80,000 people that we just signed up,
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who are called freedom fighters. they are on our roles as well. they are shooting pool. they are in their uniforms. we do not know who they are. i need somebody who understands personal databases. i need to know who is on my roles -- rolls. that is an answer of what the realities are. what i said was, people who do ssr think globally and understand the global context. in libya, it was tried to help as bad sort out this amazing problem. if you could do that, you could get everything else. artesia on i'd egypt egypt or tunisia? >> looking beyond the election
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-- inviting experts to make predictions about where we will be at the end of the coming year, about 20 paul, but 2013. this is often done with respect to where we can anticipate the dow might be, accuracy rate of these predictions are abysmal. we have to be careful about how we will hold our predictors to the accuracy of their projections, but given everything we have discussed about where these processes are headed, but the obstacles they confront, about the possibilities of our intervention, about the degree of influence outside actors might have cut if you had to speculate in an informed way about where you think we will be
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with respect to security sector reform in egypt and tunisia -- we will set libya side -- give me a sense of that. where do think we will be? >> that is a tremendous question. i feel like i am on a sunday morning talk show. for me, when i think about where the process is going, and i compare egypt and tunisia -- in some sense, there is a kind of conversion. can see population breakdown in to be sure, possibly from domestic violence, and this process, to a halt. in the case of egypt, a great asset and liability of egypt -- the checking process.
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the checking process has been a hindrance, but it may create some content -- content -- context to avoid a breakdown. >> just to push back a little bit further, what this breakdown means? what does it look like? >> breakdown could look like a violent episode that compels or invites the government to look to a security apparatus or some element to have a much -- to have a much more direct involvement in the politics. >> the reemergence of a security state? ok, fine. >> i guess there's a tradition in washington, d.c. when ever body -- when anybody is asked about making a position, you
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have to make one of those unverifiable predictions. like the next 18 months will be critical -- i will do something like that. [laughter] >> that will not do it on the sunday morning talk shows. >> what i am going to say here is, one thing that our discussion has alluded to is that there is a basis between the presidency in egypt as a variety of bureaucratic interests, not just the military. the deep state is good to be very critical. the question of whether he will cooperate with the states, or whether they will corporate -- whether they will cooperate with him, that will be extremely important. it is not a question of that conversation we have been waiting for between the president and between those of various bureaucratic powers -- we are also looking at the relationship between the president and the guidance of
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bureau of the muslim brotherhood. is there enough sufficient room for 10 to between the two sides in such a way that an independent presidency could emerge? that happens, that is a totally new ball game, and a situation in which you could have an egyptian presidency that is sunni or has some wiggle room to respond to popular pressures. >> thank you. >> i think that -- i will use your statement about the next. the report -- the next operiod -- period being a critical one. i think the next months will tell us whether the next month will tell us -- >> it is not a prediction, but a scenario. >> in the next eight or 10 months, we will find out what the toomey jet constitution
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looks like. the first election will be held. we will not a caretaker government anymore, but we will have a rowling government opportunity. adel tell us quite a bit about where it is going. -- it will tell us quite a bit about where it is going. we'll have the creation of a constitution where we can begin to think about ssr reforms. in terms of the violence and debate between islamists and the moderates and secularists, a lot will determine how these elections go. i was talking to somebody and to be shut recently, and aspen, how are you feeling about the security? what we see in the press reports
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are daily reports of violence between police and protesters in which both have been killed or injured. his remark was, my biggest concern right now is a traffic accident. that is the only thing i worry about. other than that, life is continuing as it normally does. that is the perspective i find interesting. here was somebody who was involved in security sector reform, who had a vision of it that is probably different from us here, who very much gives us a sense of what his biggest concern about security in tunisia was a traffic accident. that gives me some sense that if the constitution drafting process goes through, if elections are considered free and fair, then those are enormous accomplishments in a period of transition. we tend to forget that transitions are slow. they do not go in need, when your formations.
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there are fundamental battles going on about identity. >> everybody on the podium here recognizes that the next 80 months are critical. give us -- 18 months are critical. give us a sense of how reforms will improve with how the u.s. in cages in these transitions at the end of 2013? >> by the end of 2013, we will all be saying, yes, security sector reforms in these countries is important. we will be saying this because we have gone through a year of rocky times in which there is a test of strength taking place between the forces that are in each of these societies that are now beginning to emerge. when the four of us were traveling together a couple times in the spring, i think we all came back overly optimistic about the potential.
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we were so struck by the talent and spirit of the people and the available resources. i think we overlooked the fact -- the fact that the argument is not over. the argument is being formed. i think it will get a little bit worse before it gets better. we may be in a process where we have in place legitimate authority were we can go to, and say, now it is time to reform. they will say, yes it is, we have legitimacy to do this, and let me tell you what we want to do first. >> i think that was a hopeful sign up -- helpful set of concluding comments. thank you for joining us. a round of applause for our panel. [applause]
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thank you. >> and next, a look at the impact of the presidential election on u.s. relations in the middle east. what at 7:00 a.m., your calls and comments on ""washington journal." --"washington journal." today, president obama will get the arlington national ceremony -- cemetery for a veterans day ceremony. live coverage begins at 11:00 a.m. eastern on the c-span. >> 2013 should be the year we begin to solve our debt through tax reform and the entitlement reform. i am proposing that we avert the fiscal cliff together in a manner that ensures that 2013 is finally the year that our government comes to grips with the major problems that are facing us. >> i am open to compromise.
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i am open to new ideas. i am committed to solving our puzzle challenges. -- fiscal callenges. i refuse to upset any approach that is not balanced. i will not ask students and seniors and middle-class families to pay down the entire deficit while people like me making over $250,000 a year are not asked to pay a dime more in taxes. >> the newly elected congress starts work in january. the current congress has work to do through the end of the year. work is expected on the impending abbas, including the expiration of the bush-era tax cuts, raising the debt ceiling, and by how much, and planned cuts to domestic and military spending, also known as sequestration. all the four debates starting to clock on tuesday -- starting on at 2:00 on tuesday. >> and now, two former
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presidential advisers discussed the challenges facing president obama in the middle east is the next four years. dennis ross and james jeffrey address the unrest in syria and their concerns about egypt house and government. this is an hour and 35 minutes. clucks a good afternoon. welcome to the washington institution -- institute. i'm delighted to see all of you today. i think the interest in foreign policy and the wake of our presidential election is evident by the standing room only crowd we have here today. we are now already into the process of transition, transition even with the same
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president. transitions are the most fluid and receptive moments in the presidential cycle that may have an impact on the policy process. so, i take it that it is a good sign that there is a much interest in the foreign-policy process by your presence here today. i think the transition from a first to second on the administration may begin the day after election, but it does not end on inauguration day. this process is going to continue for some time. as the new old team goes through the inevitable time of reassessment and redefinition of priorities and opportunities, and as other issues, domestic issues, but fiscal cliff for example, and packed for policy. let's not forget, as the world rick roberts to the changes -- or some people get -- some people say, a lack of changes --
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here in washington. let's not forget that history does not stop or even a slowdown in the middle east. elections are coming up in israel, jordan, egypt, iran, and elsewhere. we are seeing in front of our eyes, more violent change happening in syria. the reverberations of which are being felt in every one of the country's borders. elsewhere from beirut to buy ryan, domestic politics is at a low boil, waiting to burst out, in a way that could affect our interests in very fundamental ways. there are two problems at the far end of the threat spectrum. the iran nuclear challenge on the one hand and the spread of al qaeda on the other hand -- they will continue to dominate. let's not forget -- within a year taking office, both
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president obama and bush, his predecessor, were faced with previously unforeseen events that fundamentally challenged their middle east policies. 9/11 for prison -- for president bush, and the arab spring or president obama. there is a lot on the agenda. today, we will take an early look at what will be and what should be the foreign policy of the second obama administration in the middle east. we at the washington institute, for us this is just the beginning of a quite a number of event and undertakings that we will be producing. there will be transition papers on the key issues. sometimes by our sterling institute research staff, sometimes by outside scholars and practitioners that we have commissioned to take a look at specific topics -- in the next several weeks, we are putting together -- come together with
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some frequency here in person and in the cyberworld to focus on a discrete, individual topics. we begin the process with a more general discussion in which i and my two distinguished colleagues will examine the broader issues at stake in the middle east for a second obama administration. at this moment, let me just remind people ago you could please turn your cell phones off, but silent, but took lee off. we're broadcasting live on c- span. we have other esteemed members of the journalists world here with us. each of my colleagues has special experience dealing with second terms. my colleague dennis ross who will lead off first came to the white house at the beginning of a second term, the second reagan administration.
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his first publication at the washington institute, just before going into the reagan administration -- he did not think he was that old -- the second reagan administration was our first ever publication titled, "a middle east policy planning for a second reagan administration." dennis has great experience in dealing with second administrations. he did it not just with ronald reagan, but he also did it on the other side of the aisle with president bill clinton, which aesop close from the inside. -- he saw up close from the inside. both those administrations had fascinating policies in the middle east. he was involved in the most noteworthy middle east initiative of the second clinton administration, which of course was a major push for middle east peace in the second year -- in
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the last year of clinton kos term. jim is a washington fellow at the washington institute. it just retired from diplomatic service. after completing his tour as u.s. ambassador in iraq -- prior to that, he served as u.s. ambassador to turkey. he was on the frontlines of two of our ron's neighbors. lest we forget, also on the front line of the two of syria's neighbors. he had a fascinating part to look at two of the most important issues on which the administration of's agenda. he knows about a second turns from his experience as a deputy national security adviser in the bush administration. in that second term, we saw at least two major middle east initiatives, the iraq surge and the annapolis process. we have to go second term experts to open up our
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discussion on what we will look for and what we should look for in the second term of president obama's administration. then i will come back and offer some remarks of my own. first we will turn to dennis ross. >> thank you for reminding me of my age. i was a child prodigy. that is why i was in the reagan administration. [laughter] it is true i have the experience of planning and working through second terms, although i think one of the most important things to keep in mind was that precisely because it is a second term, you have an administration that already has an established presence. you may well have different personnel, but if in fact it is the president who has been shaping the policy, you have a certain orientation. i think the orientation is not something that
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if you look at the obama administration and the greater middle east right now, the reality is that the three of us do not have sufficient time to go through all the things they are going to confront it. let me do a quick sketch and focus on a couple of issues that i think are going to be most prominent in the early going. iran has been an issue that has preoccupied the president from the beginning of the administration that will become more important in 2013. i will explain why 2013 will be a decisive year one way or the other. the arab awakening. i think it has been an awakening. spring imply this would be a quick transformation. we were all going to see this wonderful reestablishment of an entirely new middle east and it was going to happen in a linear
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fashion and we would be thrilled by it. at some point this arab awakening may not produce a really genuine change that could be for the better. what is worth noting is it will take a long time before that materializes. that will obviously be on the agenda and will shape its presence. syria is one manifestation of the awakening, but unfortunately it is a manifestation that has gone in a direction that is profoundly bad. it increasingly looks like syria will become a failed state unless something more is done. there is the ongoing challenges of al qaeda in north africa. there are other challenges throughout the region. there is the whole question of peace. is an approach to two states going to be sustainable over time? there are a series of broad challenges in the middle east
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and i have not mention one other one that will be something that confronts the administration, that will be secession of saudi arabia. if you think that these are the only challenges in foreign policy president will face, that is not the case. but we are here to talk about the broader middle east. what happens in terms of the political change in china, how it affects the economy and also in the middle east is something that has to be thought about. there is the question of the future of the european union that will have an impact not only on the economy but also could have an impact in terms of what happens in the middle east. we can reserve some of the questions for the q &a. i would like to focus on a few of the key issues that i think the most prominent. but mr. with iran. i think 2003 will be a decisive
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year. for many people who have long memories, he was sick, we have been hearing a lot of people talking about iran for a long time. why do i say this should be the decisive year? i think the impact of sanctions is perhaps for the first time is truly profound in the case of iran. the supreme leader said the sanctions are brutal. this is somebody who has said on an ongoing basis, we have lived with sanctions since the beginning of the islamic republic. they make us stronger. they make us self-sufficient. he has a long litany of describing how the sanctions are something that ultimately iran will turn to its benefit. now he are saying they are brittle. the truth is, they are brutal. if you look at what is happening in the iranian energy area, it is not only the fact they are able to sell less than 50% of what they were selling before,
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it is their production and output is down from over 4 million barrels a day to 2.6 million barrels a day. part of that is because of the sanctions, the inability to continue to toin their energy infrastructure. the inability to pump and a store oil as they should down oil fields, they may not be as easy to recoup. you look at what is happening to the currency, the devaluation. there is a -- there are some estimates that the currency is devaluated every two months. that means when you go buy something, it costs you twice as much. you have in the bank is worth half as much. is not to have an effect on the society as a whole. but that with the supreme leader has been saying for the past couple of weeks. -- look at what the supreme leader has been sitting for the past couple of weeks. he has been calling for officials to stop fighting each
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other. when the head of the revolutionary guard is criticizing the head of the bank for the currency problem, that says something interesting. it is not just that the speaker of their parliament is attacking the iranian president, so is the head of the military. the focus on their economic problems has become more acute. in a sense with that suggests to me is that they may well be increasing their interest in looking for a way out. if you look at some of the commentary today that is the merging, when you have administrative intelligence web site offering an analysis where it's even suggests that diplomacy could make sense and is obviously better than the use of force, these are not the kind of commentaries that you see in the past. it does not mean that diplomacy is guaranteed to produce an outcome that we want. it means in my mind the chances for diplomacy producing
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something may be greater than before. that is not necessarily the only reason or maybe even the most important reason that i say this year could be a decisive year. the reason is that even though they are under great economic strain and penalty, the nuclear program continues. the president has made very clear our objection -- our objective is prevention. preventing them from having a nuclear weapon and not living with it after the fact. the problem is, by the end of 2013, if the pace of the current development of the nuclear program continues, we may no longer be in a position to know we can prevent them from presenting the world with a nuclear weapon. if your objection is prevention -- if your objective is prevention and by the end of 2013 you do not know, then that increases a sense of urgency about getting something done. the combination of what the
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impact of sanctions have been, the reality that prevention, if it will have meaning, we may have to act on a before the end of 2013 leads me to conclude that we will see some kind of diplomatic initiative by the president, by the obama administration on the nuclear issue with the iranians. no president is going to end up using force without having demonstrated and mistakenly to the world and to the american public that we exhausted every possible -- possibility. what i am suggesting to you is the combination of the pressure on the one hand, the pace of their program on the other, and the likelihood that they will at least be given a way out means that we will see this come to a head. either we will find a diplomatic way out this year, or the prospect of the use of force goes up dramatically. for me, 2013 is decisive on iran. the second year i went to -- the
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second issue i want to raise is syria. what we are seeing happen is a trend that increasingly looks like syria could become a failed state. the prospect of syria being a failed state given who their neighbors are, iraq, turkey, jordan, israel -- the prospect of becoming a failed state and the conflict on the inside radiating outward. we are seeing more and more examples of that -- that creates increasing pressure to try to do more to affect the situation there. is not an accident in my mind the secretary of state has focused on 22 more to create an alternative on producing a more coherent syrian opposition. my own feeling is that that is one step that will be taken. and there will be more steps taken. i think in this regard one thing to keep focused on is not just the emerging idea that has come out of turkey about a new way to produce a no fly zone, patriots
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as an interesting creative way of no-fly zones, that may or may not be something that gets explored. i do believe the prospect of as providing assistance to syrian opposition will also go up. i said that because the balance of forces in the syrian opposition is such. as time goes by and those who seem to have the money and weapons -- they will become much more dominant in terms of opposition. that does not serve american interests or the interests of stability in the region. i think the prospect of the administration seeing the need to do more is going to go up. i think the focus on the opposition is one manifestation of that. i think that will not be the only one. the third area that i would like to focus on briefly is the whole issue of the eye toward egypt.
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what we see in egypt is a duality of realities. on the one hand, we find the muslim brotherhood, president morsi is no longer a member but clearly he's around since of of people who are. the reality is today is they control the institutions of the state with the exception of the judiciary. one can assume they will make more effort to gain control over that. the muslim brotherhood continues to have a clear ideology. if anybody thinks that will disappear is kidding themselves. when i talk about a dual reality doesn't exist, you see on the one hand a reality where president morsi sends a letter. after the release the letter and there is a backlash from the muslim brotherhood, he comes out and denies that he said the letter. that is never a good sign when
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you deny the fact because in a sense either your politics or your ideology do not permit you to acknowledge the fact. when 16 egyptian soldiers that were killed, the muslim brotherhood's first response was to accuse the masada doing it. obviously not true, obviously having to create the reality that is alternative reality. that is not a good sign. the muslim brotherhood did say that. a couple of weeks ago the supreme guy came out and said all jews are correct and the only thing israelis understand is violence. when there was a backlash, they cannot and said, we did not say that. we have to deny reality, is said something about the durability of your rick -- of your belief system. that is not a good sign. there is another reality that since to exist at the same time. that is a recognition that somehow if the muslim
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brotherhood and if president morsi are going to have credibility with an aged, they have to deliver. that means addressing the economy. -- within egypt, they have to deliver. the muslim brotherhood was against the imf standby loan because -- one of the reasons was the conditionality that would be imposed. now, president morsi is in favor of it. he once the loan to be $4.8 billion. recognizing there is an economic need and to respond to it. you have may be the largest delegation of american business people go about six weeks ago to egypt led by the american chamber of commerce. they met the president and the members of the muslim brotherhood. everybody they spoke with said we want to do business with you.
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we want a climate that makes it possible for you to invest. their renaissance plan itself is governed by a certain economic logic and rationality. here are two interesting realities. the economic imperatives seem to be understood by the egyptian leadership. the recognition that somehow they actually have a public that they have to respond to. this is not simply the tip of mubarak or you can discount the public -- the egypt of mubarak where you can discount the public. it means if we stand by certain principles, which also effect practicalities. we have an ability to effected their behavior. what does it mean in terms of principles? first and foremost, respect minority rights. that is a practicality for them. if you see large numbers of the coptic christians leaving egypt, that is not exactly going to be
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a source of encouragement for people on the outside to invest. if they exclude half of their population -- this is not a prescription for a successful society. it is their practicality. you look at the draft constitution in d.c. language about equality that is quite reassuring. you see other language about principles of sharia that may not be as encouraging. if they maintain political pluralism -- if they are going to succeed the around to have to. they have to fulfill their international obligations. first and foremost, of living up to a peace treaty with israel. it may be our principal, but it is also their practicality. who is going to invest in egypt if it looks like they are trying to invite a conflict with
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israel? the answer is nobody. the extent to which they are governed by the need to address their economic needs and imperatives suggests to me that there is an approach that we can have and the administration will have. i would note that in the first 24 hours after our embassy was under assault and nothing was done, when he called president morsi and said if you do not protect our people you get nothing but us, all of the and additions that were there for the first so many hours, not wanting to look like the mubarak regime, suddenly all of that disappeared and they provided protection. that means that if we are governed by principals and practicalities -- so much for turning off cell phones. one thing i know for sure is it is not for me. then i think we have a chance to
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try to shape what can happen in egypt. this is a story written by them, it will not be written by us. but the extent to which they need help from the outside, we should be prepared to provide it. we do not want a failed state in egypt. there should be ground rules. i think the administration -- i have two more minutes? the peace issue. one of the realities of the arab awakening is it has had a chilling effect on both sides. the growth of political islam, the rise of the muslim brotherhood, the impact that it may have not only mayhamas but the whole area around him. -- not only on hamas but the area around him. he sees the high likelihood this
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will produce a backlash. he gives an interview with channel 2 on israel. you see him being burned in effigy. he can assume the consequences are if in fact he takes these steps. it has had a chilling effect on him. also, given what you see with the arab awakening has made him act more as a populist. you are going to do a deal. will it be durable? what are you going to visit after it? this is a time where thinking about taking big leaps forward has a tendency to think about what are the risks and not what are the opportunities. i would say it is understandable that both sides have that view, but i would also say something else. the status quo will not remain static.
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the democratic cockle keep ticking. the intellectual current with a lot of younger palestinians is to say one person, one vote. one of the challenges for the administration will be how do you preserve the possibility of a two state outcome that remains and stress, israeli interests, and palestinians interest. it will never achieve the palace -- they will never achieve their aspirations if they go into a one stage outcome. israel does not want the demographic clock to dictate what their future will be. how do you preserve a two state approach? i think the real issue is, how do you contend with the greatest single problem, which in my mind is this belief on each side. the israeli public believes palestinians are not interested in a two-state outcome.
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it is only part of a phased approach or a palestinian state. palestinians look at the israelis and said, as they are not interested in the two states. neither one has a belief that the other is really committed to two states. i think the challenge at this point is, how do you change the dynamic? i do have a 14- point proposal -- actually i do. i could do it in three minutes. do you want me to wait? i always take my guidance. i know there are a lot of rumors about me that i never took guidance, that is just not true. i took it at times. if you look atiran, syria, that is a huge agenda for the administration. i have not made a reference to
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the transition. i have not made a reference to the transition in afghanistan. this is a critical year for the administration on that. it is a signature issue for the president. that will obviously have to be part of what is done. and then there is the one last wild card. there are always wild cards in the middle east. every administration always this is a surprise. one of the things are trying to do as you think about the beginning of any term, whether it is a first term are transitioning to a second term, you are trying to think about what you can do to shape the landscape so that you are in a better position to deal with surprises when they come. [applause] >> thank you. it is no fun following dennis.
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a couple of initial points. first of all, i agree very much with them about this follow ontion's second term will probably be similar to the first, perhaps not quite as prudent. i think that is probably a good thing. i was a from my own experience, the second bush 43 administration was different and the first administration. anything is possible out there. let's begin. i will talk a little bit about some of the same issues that dennis raised from a different perspective. and then i will go forward a bit on some of the other issues that we are going to be looking at. first of all, job 1 in our diplomacy for the middle east has to be continuing to rebuild our economic and financial strength here at home. this is vitally important. we see this not only in the
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ability to maintain our military strength, but also we see this as important for something like the iran sanctions. this to the financial strength of our system that we can put banks around the world under pressure. it is because of the relations that we have, diplomatic and energy, with countries,iraq to saudi arabia that we can count on the additional production to balance a loss of iranian oil. it is because of our own growth here at home that we are able to absorb some of this and move forward. this is very important. i think that we should focus on that. another the obama administration well. nonetheless -- i know that the obama administration will. there is a " that may be miss attributed that says, you may not be interested in law, but law is interested in you.
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we may not be focused on the economy, but the middle east including its laws are interested in us. our transition out of iraq has led to a perception in some circles that the united states is withdrawing from the region. this is not true. we are building up just on the military side. -- their defense and other support for israel. missile defense systems in turkey. a very strong development of coalition defense capabilities in the gulf and continued operations against al qaeda. that is one of the first things that the obama administration will have to do is deal with the perception that on the military side we are pulling out. we are not, but the perception is out there. as dennis said, iran is critical. he went to the main reasons why
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iran is so focused on our attention are why we have some much attention on it. i would like to add that in looking at the depth of the problem with iran, its impact on non-proliferation, regional stability, oil markets, the world economy, which is dependent on the price of oil, our relations with israel, the role of the security council, our role on the security council, almost everything that is important is at stake with this. this is the most dangerous situation the administration will face in the next year. while this year is critical, we have to realize that this is not all about some misunderstanding or some fixable problem with iran not getting it about its nuclear program or even its nuclear weapons program colliding with the international community. these are all manifestations of a long-term confrontation that
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we in the rest of the west, most of the region has had with iran since the 1970's. this will go on. regardless of whether we get a nuclear deal or if we have a strike to prevent iran from moving to that capability. we are going to have to deal with this problem over the long term just as we have over the last 30 years because it flows from iran's view of their role in the region with the view of the other countries in the region, our values and as a leading power throughout the world. a couple of issues related to this that we need to look at. first of all, the obama administration has done, i think, a very good job, first of all, reaching out a hand to iran. that did not work. a very tough set of policies
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ranging from sanctions to the military deployments in the region that have basically beef up our capability to withstand an iranian action and to threaten iran's nuclear capabilities of it comes to that. in addition, taking the prevention position and this includes military force, while the avoided red lines, going closer to that in the debates, i am talking about breakout capacity, he has laid down a very important moffitt. if iran are able to move to that. we did not react, we would lose an awful lot of not just face but an awful lot of support. i sympathize with the president on the issue of red lines. that can be debated either way.
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are a lot of arguments one way or the other. no administration likes to be tied down. there is one thing we have to deal with in a scenario where we do not say when we would strike. iran gets a nuclear weapon, what do we do that? if we get evidence that they have a nuclear device capabilities or they have enough uranium to enrich it and develop one of these things -- they can do -- they can be done quickly -- a strong argument will be made that we will strike under those circumstances. that is more dangerous, but a iran with a nuclear capability is going to be very, very hard to contain. in looking at the military side, one of the things we do want to avoid is a military clash with iran from the conventional side, i be siden the aftermath of a
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strike, through an accident or some thing else -- something like we had with 1986 with iran. we avoid this because of the rest of the action spreading. the uncontrolled nature of this, even more than most military engagements, and the impact on oil markets, the straits of hormuz, and things everyone else knows. we have to be in a position militarily to deter under almost any conditions an iranian at of adventure. we have to be able to win, we have to be able to win decisively. this is absolutely critical. it is what we did in 1988 and it had a single line effect on their reactions to us for a decade to come. that is something that will
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require continued american a tension and continued american deployments. beginning with the 2012 defense guidance policy, which people refer to as the pivot, the emphasis seems to be on asia, including our military emphasis. i would urge that we insure that maintaining the air, naval, and air and missile defense systems in the gulf region to deter or if necessary defeat iran should be the no. 1 military priority, at least to the dangers. coming up-- dangerous period coming up. we have both worked in the white house and how difficult it is to coordinate the various agencies and activities. with iran we have energy policy,


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